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7 Ted Talks for Back to School Inspiration

August 21, 2018 Sarah Bichsel No Comments

True: Back to School Season is an exhilarating time when teachers return to a new classroom refreshed and full of ideas for student growth and the physical classroom itself.

Also true: Back to School Season can be overwhelming and stressful and made that much more difficult by the barrage of pinterest-perfect classroom setups that pour through the newsfeed.

In the midst of this wonderful/challenging time, we’ve compiled 7 Ted Talks that will help you feel energized as school starts again. Some are just for teachers, others are perfect to share with students, but all of them will leave you with new ideas and hopefully a renewed sense of excitement for the coming year.


1. Rita Pierson: Every Kid Needs a Champion

Rita Pierson will light a fire in your belly. Empowering fellow teachers to deepen relationships with their students, she preaches a message of strength through positive affirmation and determination.

2. Ramsey Musallam: 3 Rules to Spark Learning

Ramsey Musallam had been a chemistry teacher for 10 years before a life-threatening illness changed his entire method of engaging in the classroom.

3. Lisa Bu: How Books Can Open Your Mind

More often than not, life doesn’t go exactly how you dream it will. Lisa Bu shares the story of how, after the collapse of her first dream, books became her new life’s passion.

4. David Christian: History of the World in 18 Minutes

This one is great to share with your students in the classroom! David Christian is a noted historian at the forefront of Big History, the study of universal patterns and trends stretching from The Big Bang to the modern world.

5. Shameem Akhtar: To Learn is to Be Free

As a young girl growing up in rural Pakistan, Shameem Akhtar was forbidden from attending school, but she was determined to receive an education. Bravely pursuing her studies disguised as a boy, her act of defiance ended up changing the culture of her village forever.

6. Raghava KK: What’s Your 200 Year Plan?

There is zero question that coming up with a curriculum for a single year of teaching is hard work. But what happens when you start to look beyond the scope of the school year? Raghava KK wants us to look WAY beyond, planting seeds that will bloom in generations to come.

7. Bunker Roy: The Barefoot Academy

The Barefoot Academy helps rural villages become self-sufficient and trains residents to become everything from artists to engineers. Founder Bunker Roy traces the history of this unique, innovative institution and shares wisdom that teachers around the world can apply to their own curriculum.

Start your own globally minded conversation in the classroom with our free Global Citizenship Workshop!

Sarah Bichsel

Sarah Bichsel

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